Before flying to Tangier Island last Wednesday, I was out on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources's ice breaker 'J. Millard Tawes' taking food to Smith Island and escorting an oil barge through the icy waters of Tangier Sound. The 100-foot steel hull vessel ran through ice that was up 10-12" thick as they cut paths to and from Smith Island. The thickest ice that the crew encountered was at the mouth of the little Annemesex River.
Yesterday, the Tawes ran into Virginia waters to bring food, mail and medicine to residents the residents of Tangier Island had been cut off since their last delivery since the National Guard's Blackhawk Helicopters had delivered food on Saturday. Captain Eddie Somers and his crew worked around the clock for 11-days straight to accommodate the needs of the residents of Smith and Tangier.